'Handsome Harry's' Preston North End memorabilia, including an FA Cup winner's medal, go up for auction

The footballing treasures of a Preston North End FA Cup winner are to be sold off at auction.

By Brian Ellis
Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 4:08 pm

The prized memorabilia of "Handsome Harry" Holdcroft, who was goalkeeper for the club's victorious Wembley side of 1938, will go under the hammer in London next month.

And auctioneers think the player's personal collection of 25 items from his 13-year professional career could fetch up to £17,000.

Included in the sale will be Harry's 14-carat gold winner's medal from the FA Cup Final in which North End beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 courtesy of an extra-time penalty scored by George Mutch. Experts estimate it to be worth between £4,000 and £6,000.

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George 'Handsome Harry' Holdcroft won the FA Cup with PNE.

The player's two England caps will also be up for sale - a red one from his international debut against Wales in October 1936 and a white one from the win over Ireland a month later. They both have a guide price of £750 to £1,000.

And a winner's medal from the 1941 Football League War Cup Final in which Preston beat Arsenal in a replay at Ewood Park, Blackburn after the two sides had fought out a 1-1 draw at Wembley three weeks earlier is also up for grabs, worth between £1,000 and £1,500.

Harry, whose real name was George Henry Holdcroft, joined PNE from Everton in 1932 for £800 (paid on easy terms) after previously having played for Port Vale and Darlington.

During his time at Deepdale he played 263 times for the club in league and cup including a spell of 172 consecutive games in all competitions.

Harry's 1938 FA Cup winning medal is one of 25 items up for sale.

The Second World War brought an end to his league career, although he continued playing wartime football for Preston and also made guest appearances for Accrington Stanley, Barnsley, Burnley, Bury, Oldham, Manchester United and Southport as well as non-league Leyland Motors, Morecambe and Chorley.

In addition to his two England caps he also represented the Football League XI against the Scottish League - a medal from that game is also up for auction.

The Holdcroft collection includes a Charity Shield runners-up medal from 1938, three badges from his goalkeeping jerseys (including the Three Lions of England), eight PNE players' tickets for his time at the club and a number of programmes from significant matches he played in and banquet menus.

The sale will be on March 8/9 at Graham Budd Auctions in London. Holdcroft's items will be amongst 1,137 lots of sporting memorabilia to be sold.

Harry in action for North End.